I’ve been using facebook quite a lot for the past few years, posting several links/updates per day.
A couple of weeks ago I decided I’d had enough, so here’s what I did:
Sent a mass message to everyone on my facebook friends list (about 200) telling them what was wrong with facebook and why they should give Diaspora a try. You can read the text here: http://robinsland.co.uk/2012/11/13/facebook-have-gone-too-far/
Since then I’ve made a point of posting all the things I would have posted on Facebook on Diaspora instead, only posting roughly daily on facebook with a link that has something to do with Diaspora, so things like diasporial/what-is, poduptime, the pod signup page or a link to my stream.
This strategy seems to be working, and people are gradually giving Diaspora a try. I’ve irritated a few of my friends with my persistence but facebook has such huge traction now that I knew I was going to have to push hard to make an impact. I feel a definite sense that people have had enough of facebook, so I think now is the time.
I thought I would share this in case other people find these strategies useful.
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I think from a user perspective, this is a really simple, good start for user advocacy. Part of the trick of getting other people to join is to show that their friends are on there enjoying it already.
I think it’s also important to try to get your friends to sign up on different pods through http://podupti.me, it more easily illustrates the idea of decentralized social, and if too many people are on a pod, it tends to slow the pod down and affect federation.
We did the same, me and two friends, one year ago. But we completely deleted our facebook account.
Here is the blog post in french : http://geexxx.fr/2012/01/11/pourquoi-j-ai-finalement-pris-la-decision-de-quitter-facebook/
And the original text in english : http://betabeat.com/2011/12/in-which-eben-moglen-like-legit-yells-at-me-for-being-on-facebook/
The conclusion is, although some friends subscribed on Diaspora (~5), none of them is active one year later. We miss a lot of features… I think photo album is really the minimum.
Yeah I don’t think leaving facebook is the way to do it, I think you need to be where everyone else is (on facebook) reminding them about Diaspora and the fact you are on it.
Also I don’t think encouraging others to leave facebook is realistic, just offer them an alternative and hope they give it a try and gradually use facebook less. Facebook has so much traction now that for a lot of people its like asking them to stop using email.
I’m waiting until federation, pod migration and a few key features such as photo hosting and groups are sorted out before inviting my friends, because most of them would probably think ‘this is a bit rubbish, not much going on here’ and leave, and I have seen so many other people say that in the Diaspora stream over the past year plus.
When I decide the time is right to invite people I know, I’ll probably follow a similar strategy to yours, Robin. I hope you’re successful in encouraging people to try Diaspora and in keeping them on the network once they do try it. Good luck.